The New Yorker: Grub

Photo by Hans Gissinger
I got to spend an evening with the fascinating Dana Goodyear while she was preparing to write her wonderful article, “Grub,” for The New Yorker. She accepted an invitation to come over and watch me and David Gracer of Small Stock Foods cook up some bugs for dinner – including one we’d never tried before: the tailless whip scorpion.
 
 
We learned later that tailless whip scorpions had been eaten, live, on Fear Factor, but at the time it was completely new territory for us. Here’s a video of what happened, taken by Ms. Goodyear: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/08/eating-insects-entomophagy-video.html
 

Tailless whip scorpions, in addition to being tasty, are a great option for arachnophobes-in-therapy: despite their frightening appearance, they have no venom, nor fangs. The worst they will do is pinch you momentarily with their tiny claws, and trust me, it doesn’t hurt (I’ve received worse treatment from adorable green caterpillars). What the whips’ do is wander around, feeling things out with their extra-long antenna-like sensory legs, and catch prey with their pincers. They’re quite lovely and meditative to watch, actually, though they can move fast when they want to.

Because they are hard to come by, we recommend sticking to more common grub, like crickets and larvae. However, the whips’ are great examples of how our eyes can play tricks on us when it comes to insects and arachnids: they generally aren’t as scary or as gross as we think they are.

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